A LARGE search lasting more than two hours was carried out this morning after a pile of clothes was found on a beach.

Crews from Shoreham Coastguard and Brighton Lifeboat Station were called at 9.30am and scoured Hove seafront, standing down shortly before midday.

They were joined by the coastguard helicopter which hovered above West Pier as the search continues.

RNLI and coastguard crews also patrolled the beach during the operation.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "There was a search this morning following some items of clothing being found on the beach, however the search has now been stood down with nothing found."

A spokesman for Brighton Lifeboat Station said: "Brighton lifeboat was tasked today at 9.25am to reports of a pile of clothing on the beach in front of The Meeting Place Cafe.

"A search was carried out along with a Coastguard helicopter, Sussex Police and Shoreham Coastguard.

"With nothing found, all search teams were stood down at 12 noon."